Samuel Matson
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Node

 
 

Can improving the interaction with smoke alarms save lives?

 
 
 

1 in 4 fire related deaths are caused by broken or intentionally disabled smoke detectors.*

*www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/smoke-alarms/reports-and-statistics-about-smoke-alarms

 
 

Over a third of homes are at risk

More than a third of homes are at risk due to non-functioning smoke alarms; either they are broken, out of batteries or purposefully disabled by the user *

 
 

* according to the New York City Fire Department: www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/safety/fire_safety_education/2010_20/08_smoke_and_carbon_monoxide_alarms_english.pdf

 
 
 

So why aren't people using smoke alarms correctly?

 
 
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Smoke alarms can be annoying - they are loud and intrusive. Frustrated users reported intentionally disabling or not maintaining smoke detectors.

Smoke alarms can seem to overreact to small amounts of smoke or steam, loudly ringing and startling users when they are trying to cook or stepping out of the shower. Users often assume they are malfunctioning or simply not worth the trouble.

 
 
 

We need a smoke alarms that can accurately communicate in a way people understand

 
 
 
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Prototyping

The design went through dozens of iterations to refine the size, shape, look and feel of the product.

Prototyping

The design went through dozens of iterations to refine the size, shape, look and feel of the product.

 
 

Engineering the hardware

I took the design concept through to implementation and built a functional prototype to vet the design and engineering requirements

 
 
 

I first modeled a circuit design and layout in CAD.  

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Next, I etched that pattern onto a copper plated epoxy board.

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I then soldered on the LEDs, piezo speaker, smoke sensors and microprocessor

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Responsive visual feedback

When Node detects a trivial amount of smoke, the first lights turn on but no noise will sound yet so you don't get startled by blaring noise with no warning.

Responsive visual feedback

When Node detects a trivial amount of smoke, the first warning lights turn on, but no disruptive noise yet

Meaningful auditory feedback

If Node detects a dangerous amount of smoke, an alarm will sound with the noise reflecting the severity of danger.

Meaningful audio feedback

If Node detects a dangerous amount of smoke, an alarm will sound with the noise reflecting the severity of danger

 

Battery or grid powered

Node can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. In accordance with safety code, Node can be adapted to either be battery powered or attached to your homes power supply.

Battery or grid powered

Node can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. In accordance with safety code, Node can be adapted to either be battery powered or attached to your homes power supply.

 
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